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How to cheat in Elections

Published by St Benedict's School on Wednesday 21st of October 2015

Dominic Howell, an international election observer and Founder of Intellitas, gave an unusual and fascinating talk to Sixth Form Government & Politics and History students at St Benedict’s School, Ealing. He discussed the many ways in which some dictators and political leaders have successfully manipulated events on ‘e-day’, and gave a chilling description of what passes for ‘fair’ elections in some countries. Sam Lythgoe (Year 12), who attended the talk, commented: “One thing that certainly is not on either the History or Politics A-Level syllabuses is how to cheat in elections. However, it remains a fascinating field of study. I was surprised when we were told, that some countries’ concept of democracy stretched to stuffing ballot boxes with voters held at gunpoint, constantly threatened with the knowledge that, if they didn’t vote for the correct person, their life might come to a premature end. Others prevent the operations of opposition media outlets, for example, on the grounds of poor health and safety in their offices. Or perhaps, if time is running out, intricate methods of bribery and ‘carousel’ voting could be an option, removing the requirement for any electoral appeal. How lucky we are to have provision of fair elections in our own country! Intellitas provides political education to schools. Intellitas talks inspire and raise political literacy and awareness, helping young people to become active and informed citizens. Mr Howell is an experienced election monitor and an expert in international relations having worked in, or visited, over 80 countries.
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